Friday, September 28, 2012

Bella's Grove and Links and Promotions

Good Morning,

Friday is here, the weekend promises to be bright and lovely and I can't wait to get out on the Greenbelt down by the river and go for a little Autumn walk, and see what mother nature has in store.

Before I get into the announcements and event promotions, I would like to venture to the Discovery Center in Boise Idaho.  This month a new exhibit began, Bodies Revealed, and this is just fascinating.  Although I do not have tickets yet, I intend to go.   The link will take you to The Plan Your Visit Page, with information on Tickets and the Discovery Center's address and hours of operation.  The bodies are actual people, plasticized and preserved in an exhibit of how the body functions and what you look like on the inside.   For $8.00 this is not to be missed.


The Alchemists Vessel is excited and very pleased to announce that Jewelry Classes will be starting soon, dates need to be confirmed and will be announced within the next couple of weeks.

I would like to thank Bella's Grove, for graciously agreeing to rent space for classes.  A local business in town, Bella's Grove is located at 2210 S. Broadway, Boise, ID 83706.
Hours: Monday - Closed
Tuesday through Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Facebook: Bella's Grove


The store has a lot to offer, jewelry, incense, crystals, gemstone pendants, herbal workshops, Reiki, and a number of other marvelous and unique things to delight the mind and the senses!


Just in time for All Hallows Eve, Bella's Grove will also be hosting The Witches Market, Sunday, October 14th, 2012, at 2210 Broadway, Boise, ID (Broadway and Iowa).  Stop by for a fun and unique shopping experience, many of the artisans that are featured in the store will be available in person with their wares on display.

The Alchemists Vessel at Bella's Grove, Jewelry Classes with Alixandra Browning

Classes Offered:

Jewelry Basics: $30.00 per person 2-1/2 Hour session
This class will cover the very basics of jewelry making, including Tools, Wire, Bead Sizes, Findings (Jump Rings, Ear Wires, Head Pins, etc.)  A simple project will be made during class for attendees to take home.

Sample Tools and Materials

Intermediate Jewelry Design:  $40.00 per person 3-1/2 hour session
This class will be project based, attendees are expected to be familiar with basic jewelry making techniques, materials and equipment.   Jewelry Basics is NOT required for any of the classes offered.  If you can string a bead and bend a head pin you'll be more than comfortable in this class.  

Genuine Gemstone Necklace

Advanced Jewelry Design: $45.00 - $50.00 per person To Be Determined
This class will cover more advanced projects and processes of Jewelry Design.  Including Resin Trapped Objects, Chainmaille, and Inking projects.

Beaded Chainmaille Watch

All class materials will be provided by the Instructor, if you have your own materials and / or tools discounts will be given at time of class.  Registration will be available via the website or visit Bella's Grove and pick up a brochure after October 14th, 2012.  You will also be able to sign up via Facebook and the Etsy Shop as soon as the sample projects are complete.

*NOTE: All items shown are handmade by Alixandra Browning Owner / Designer of The Alchemists Vessel, and may not be the specific projects taught in class.

Thank you for stopping in and having a read.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday - Etsy Wholesale, Silver and Artifical Diamonds

Good Morning,

Thursday are reserved for the Blog Ring Featured Artist from  This Thursday, I have been chosen as the artist, so instead of posting about myself I thought I would share a couple of videos and discuss Etsy's foray into Wholesale.  It's not what you may think.

First up the videos:

Silver - How Its Made

Artificial Diamonds

Etsy Wholesale:

I know a lot of folks have been very upset about this lately, but actually it looks like it may be a good thing.

After reading the Etsy News Blog article "Etsy Wholesale on the Horizon", I sort of understand what it is they are doing, and don't worry this doesn't mean the end of your Shop, or that it will be swallowed in a sea of Made-in-China cheapies, or even that Etsy is going to knock the small independent handmade artist off the site because they will be unable to keep up with the fees or quantities required by retailers.

A couple of points I would like to make, or you may read the article, it explains it better than I am able.  In short this is what is happening.  In Spring of 2012 Etsy acquired a site called Trunkt. I have no idea what this site was about.  The owner of Trunkt, Dev Tandon, now works for Etsy, and the Lifetime Members of his site are being integrated into Etsy Wholesale Marketplace.  You can sign up to learn more at the link provided.

This new venture is apparently "Etsy 2", a separate and private site where Wholesalers (those shops that have a ton of items) can connect with retailers who want to purchase quantities not necessarily available via a smaller independent shop.   Doesn't sound so bad.

Thank you for stopping in and having a look.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In My Studio Project Pandemonium


Wednesday greets Idaho a little grey today.  In hope that means more rain to clear some of the smoke from the fires that are still burning in the area.

I have several projects going on in the studio and sharing is always good.

After last weeks tutorial I couldn't help but try my hand at a Micro Maille version of the Jens Pind weave.  After working out an appropriate AR of 2.92 I have come up with pretty and sleek 7-1/2" length of Sterling Silver Plated (over brass) Chain.  I am unsure if I want to leave it at its current length or continue and create a necklace instead.  There are endless possibilities as I look at the unfinished piece.

Shown here wrapped around a quarter for size comparison.  This weave, like most, is supple, strong, and makes for lovely jewelry.

Hand cut jump rings have an angular or almost mitered end when snipped with wire cutters, this is called pinch cutting. 

After reading another post on a Forum, I began searching for something called Alcohol Inks.  These are nifty little inks that will color metal.  Shake the object up in a bag with a little of the ink or dab it on with a sponge applicator.  I practiced on two aluminum bells (any metal will work).   My friend, who is also a jewelry designer, graciously allowed me to try the pieces below for fun.  She too has recently discovered this interesting way to add a bit of color to her designs.

Red Bell

Purple Bell
This is a messy process, even thought the ink dries fairly quickly, your fingers will get inky, the table top will get inky, and your clothes will get inky.  You can even mix or ink over other colors to create really pretty effects.  The metal maintains a shine when the ink dries, a plus.  These bells really ring, too.

There are a couple of other projects in the works as well. Working on creating a complimentary something for the cast flower,  the next Flea Market is just around the corner, and preparations for that are happening as well.

Thank you for stopping by and having a look.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant rest of the week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Great Gifts to Give - Five From Etsy

Good Morning,

Tuesday is here, and the end of the month has sneaked up on me, where does the time go?

This morning there are four returning shops to check out with new items to look at, and as Christmas is fast approaching and there is something fun for Home Decor, too!  Keep going, there is a fun and spooky surprise at the end!

From Waterblooms

Tiger Lilies Original 14 x 18 Acrylic Water Color Painting

Description:  Tiger lilies is an original gallery-wrapped canvas acrylic painting with seven waterblooms. The acrylic background has three bold sections of dark khaki, brown, and muted yellow. Black vines gracefully circle large orange lilies and small orange and yellow buds. Each waterbloom consists of two layers, each hand painted (front and back), cut, and molded. This painting was inspired by my childhood memories of wild tiger lilies growing nearby my home. The painting is signed on the front and back. I hope my art brings you happiness.

Waterblooms provide a three-dimensional look to the art, making my style very unique.

Hope - Original 12 x 24 Acrylic and Watercolor Painting  

Description:  Hope is a white acrylic background with black acrylic leafy swirls. A pale blue shading is very lightly added around the canvas. Each waterbloom has multiple layers varying in colors, from green, blue, pink, turquoise, yellow, etc. I feel the painting's stark colors of black and white oppose nicely the rich hues of the watercolor flowers, focusing the attention on the waterblooms- the true art of this piece. The painting is signed on the front and back.

Description: This is a smaller pendant, measuring 3.5 cm long and 2cm wide. It is made of copper wires and various beads. 

Description: This pendant has a truly interesting and unique stone, it is half hawk's eye, half tiger's eye, wrapped with copper wires. About 7cm long
It is sure to enhance any outfit.

For any additional information, do not hesitate to contact me. 

Description: This is a hand painted and decorated pine sled with two penguins and an igloo. The penguins are sitting in the snow with presents all around them. The sled is a cheery holiday red with white runners. Glittering snowflakes add some sparkle. This versatile sled can be placed under the tree, hung on the wall, stood in a corner or placed any where you want some holiday color. This sled will become a treasured holiday decoration you'll love for many years. It would also be an exceptional gift to give a loved one.
24 in x 10 in x 2 in

For the sled I used acrylic paint and three coats of varnish to ensure durability. The holly and the snowflakes are glued on. I added a red and gold tie for hanging.

Great effort has gone into accurately describing and photographing products, but please note color representation alters depending on individual screen settings.
Packaged with lots of care and love and will ship 1-2 days after payment is received. 

I promised a surprise, I did.  This is so fun and such a unique and wonderful piece, that I just can't help but sneak it in here.  While writing this morning I found this great item at Diana Ir's shop.  Just in time for Halloween!

Ribcage Pendant - ON ORDER

Description: Ribcage pendant - can be made to order. The images are of an already sold pendant which I made last summer.
It's a pendant that will definitely add a bit of spook and quirk to your look. perfect for fans of the macabre.

It is made entirely of a thicker copper wire that was wrapped with thin copper wire.
The pendant in the photos was about 4.5 cm long and 3 cm wide, but it can be made larger if requested. 

Thank you for stopping by and having a look.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant day.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Shop Sections And Items Monday

Hello Monday Morning!

I spent the weekend working on some lovely things for the new shop sections.  If you missed Friday's blog we have two new sections in the Shop and are working a web page for the updated website.

New items:

Blackheart Blackstone Heart and Hematite Necklace

Description: Blackstone has been carved into a Heart shaped focal bead, accented with genuine Hematite and Sterling Silver Plated spacer beads. Perfect for Goth, Rockers, or Joan Jett fans.

Genuine Blackstone Heart, Hematite (these beads are not magnetic), and Sterling Silver plated spacer beads. Strung on 1.0 mm Leather cording and finished with a silver Slide clasp. The clasp is a tube, a bar slides into one side of the clasp, as shown in the detail photos. A different clasp may be added upon customer request. (Spring, Lobster Claw or Toggle clasp may be substituted)

Elegance and pretty things never have to be expensive or out of one's price range, glass, genuine gemstones, crystals and natural materials can make beautiful and attractive pieces and an affordable price without breaking the bank.  Items include, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and the occasional bit and baub that may catch your eye.  The Alchemists Vessel is pleased to introduce $10.00 and Under, a shop section full of pretty things, that's right, priced at $10.00 and under. 

Seahorse Charm Earrings

These Antiqued Bronze Seahorse Charm earrings are super cute, filigreed, highly detailed and topped with a pretty dark amber glass bi-cone bead.  Great for Steampunk apparel or Seaside rendezvouses!  And just $10.00.


There is a variety of Three Pair Earring sets for, you got it, just $10.00.  These are very pretty, Purple, Silver and Turquoise glass tear drop shaped beads.  Come carded, boxed and ready for gift giving.


Genuine Sodalite and Silver Bead Stretch Bracelet
Genuine Gemstone Stretch Bracelets in a variety of gemstones, single and multiple combinations.  Convo us for multiple bracelet discounts.  $6.50 each.  Don't see your favorite?  We can make one in your favorite gemstone for no additional charge.

Ask about multiple item discounts.


Description: Sterling Silver Plated charms dangle beneath Genuine Amethyst Beads and a length of Byzantine Weave Chainmaille.  Pretty, purple, Pegasus', of what more could your teen dream?  $10.00.  We have also a variety of earrings ranging from $5.00 to  $10.00.  Come find your favorite pair.

Of course I can't show you everything, there are over 30 items in the section.  We hope that you'll stop by and take a look at what we have in stock, looking is always free, and we'd love to help you find that surprise gift or create that unique present for someone special.

The Bridal Path

Is a new Shop Section at The Alchemists Vessel.  Currently there are only earrings listed in the section, but we have a variety of unique and non-traditional Wedding Accessories, Table Decor, Favors, and, of course, jewelry for the Bride and her entourage.   We will be adding items as the photos come in.  Custom orders are always welcome!  Have a special theme in mind?  Let us help you put it all together.

Pink Pearl Glass Bead Bridal / Wedding Party Earrings

Description:  Sterling Silver Copper Jewelry wire is wrapped around very pretty pink glass pearl beads. Available in a variety of colors, mix and match or convo us with your Wedding Colors and we'll make pairs for the whole Wedding Party. Necklaces and bracelets to match are also available.

Arrive boxed, ready for gift giving or tucked into a Favor Bag.

Ask us about multiple item / Bridal Party discounts

These earrings are also available in the general shop in favorite gemstone beads of choice, or convo us for a custom pair just for you.

Enter Coupon Code Holiday10 for 10% off your total purchase.

Thank you for stopping by and having a look.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Shamless Promotion of Self - Coupon Code


Friday is here, it is the weekend, and tomorrow is the first day of Fall.  There has been a nip in the air of late, and the mornings have been cooler.  Leaves have been changing color and it is getting dark earlier in the evening.  Autumn.  Ain't it grand?  I think so.

Let's get to what everybody wants to know.  What's the Coupon Code, I could make you wait until the end of the post, but that's just cruel.  If you are thinking about purchasing that item you've had your eye on you can enter Holiday10 at check out on any item in the Shop and receive a 10% discount on your entire order.  Good through December 15, 2012, and active now.  Coupon Code includes all shop sections and items!

$10.00 and Under is a new Shop Section, where all items for sale are, you guessed it, $10.00 and under.  Chainmaille, Genuine Gemstone Stretch Bracelets, Earrings, there will be more to come.  These little items make great stocking stuffers, Office Gift Exchange presents, or Secret Santa Gifts for your Group or Organization.

Set of Three Earring Pairs $10.00 at The Alchemists Vessel.

The Bridal Path is also a new Shop Section and venture.  A Web page will be added to the Official Website for a complete list of beaded Wedding Accessories, Favors and Jewelry for the Bride and her Party.  We will also be offering custom Wedding Bands, for the Bride and Groom, unique and original pieces especially made for the happy couple. 

Currently for sale is this very pretty pair of glass Pearl earrings in Gray and White, more styles and colors are available, as well as other items that will be added soon, and all customizable in the colors of choice. 

Watch Monday's blog post for more new items.


Dear Customers and Flea Market Attendees,

After much pondering, evaluation, and tough decisions it is time to adapt new ideas, modify the Shop, and fill out the inventory.  Changes within the Treasure Valley Flea Market, and the fact that I seem to have reached my sales audience, has lead me to adapt several more alterations, I will be appearing at the listed show dates, and that is all.  I will be seeking a new permanent venue whether through a Consignment Shop or other Brick and Mortor Shopping location around the Treasure Valley and Boise area.  I will continue to be an active member in the other Fairs and venues, time permitting.  This is not an easy decision or one I make lightly.  You can still find us on the web to shop, and available by phone for Customer Service, Custom Orders or General Questions.  Business Phone Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday.

Always available via e-mail -

The Alchemists Vessel will be in attendance at these Flea Markets.

October 6th and 7th, 2012 - Halloween Themed Jewelry On Sale!

November 10th and 11th, 2012 - Last chance for in person Holiday shopping

February 16th and 17th, 2013 - We will be showcasing new items and announcing our continued presence and new shopping venue.

I will continue as the Contracted Jewelry Instructor at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, as well as completing my Certification course during the coming months as well.

Thank you for stopping in and having a read.  Don't forget to bookmark us, we have some exciting plans in the works.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Bead Thing - Featured Artist

Thursday is here and we have a new Featured Artist this morning.

It is always a pleasure to share and bring another artist to your attention.

Today's Featured Artists is Pam, owner of A Bead Thing on

What she says about her shop:

"Handcrafted jewelry is my passion. Choose handcrafted bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants. I especially love creating bead woven jewelry because of the enormous variety in colors available and the diversity in style that can be created. Bead woven or stitched items are also lightweight and easily cared for. All contributed content © abeadthing."

What Pam has to offer in her shop:

Swarovski Flip Flops

Description:  These cutsie flip flops are made using 4mm swarovski crystals in complementary colors with a few 11/0 seed beads for the little flower on top.  These are a delight to make and to wear, lightweight and will get you all kinds of "oooh where did you get those" comments.
I have several pair in inventory of vayring color combinations and these can be special ordered as long as I have the colors in stock.

Jasper Pendant

Description: The specific type of this jasper stone is unknown. It has beautiful greens and brown colorations through the stone and is wrapped in a copper wire.  Stone measures 1.25 square and we have set it on its toe. Jasper is a form of chalcedony believed to be created in volcanic eruptions and lava and formed by the flow of the lava.  This is a one of a kind pendant.

Netted Butterfly

Description: Beautiful butterflies, using 11/0 pastel mint seed beads as well as gold tone metallic 11/0 seed beads.  This creates the illusion of a butterfly with the 4mm glass pearl.  This bracelet is entirely handmade including the clasp which is created using the Peyote stitch and the tubular Peyote stitch.  Bracelet is  8.5 inches in length but special orders for specific sizes are welcomed.

What the artists says about herself:

Bio Excerpt:

One day I was to go to a Halloween party and asked my daughter to take some of the beads and make me something to wear. She did and that was the beginning. She began playing around with the beads and we began to buy more and more beads. The more I watched her play around, the more intrigued I became until one day I started playing around with them again. This did not take long at all and I was hooked. I have not stopped since. I began researching techniques and learning all I could about beading and checking out what others were doing and then realized that I was no longer depressed and that God had been working in my life with those beads for many many years. He continues to guide me and provide me with inspiration and I am thankful that He did not give up on me.

Enjoy browsing our items and I hope that if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Thank you for stopping by and having a look.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant day.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jens Pind Chainmaille Photo Tutorial In My Studio

Good Morning,

Today in the studio I have been working on a new Chainmaille weave for a variety of items and the post is packed with photos.  The Jens Pind Linkage or JPL for short is a spiral weave and very much like a rope pattern.  The tight AR (Aspect Ratio) of the rings locks them into place and keeps the weave from unwinding.

The Jens Pind weave, in three colors, to show the pattern.  This is a favorite way to weave this pattern, the colors show off the spiral twist of the chain.

Each jump ring is placed through the two prior rings and lines up with the ring of the same color.  The jump rings must be linked precisely and in the correct position to achieve the zig-zag stacking effect.

Aspect Ratio is measured by dividing the Inner Diameter (ID) of the jump ring by the Wire Diameter (WD = gauge). It is important to convert the wire gauge into millimeters before dividing.  Yes, you have to do math!

AR = ID ÷ WD    
Example: 3.0  ÷ 1.024 = 2.92  
This would be equivalent to a 3.0mm ID 18 gauge wire jump ring, with an AR of 2.92

It is important to take this into account when working a weave pattern.  If the wire is too thick, the inner diameter will not be large enough for the number of the rings that need to pass through it, too thin or the ID too large, the weave (knit) will be too loose with an airy or lacy look.  Some Chainmaille patterns are very AR sensitive, as I have found out attempting the Jens Pind.  Not terribly complicated, but done with an incorrect AR and you a have an unattractive mess.

Two Color Jens Pind weave, although the rings look the same, they are not, the silver rings are 16g and the Brown are 18g, both rings are 10mm, however for some odd reason they both have an inner diameter of about 5.2.  The pattern has a more open weave then the three color chain in the same gauge.

You can see the contrasting rings through the weave, showing that the weave is a little loser than the three color example above.

As you spin or turn the chain the illusion of twisting or spiraling occurs.

Although the position of the rings never changes, they appear to twist through each other depending on the angle of view.

In order to show the detail, I have used 14 g, 16, and 18g, 10mm Anodized Aluminum jump rings purchased from a craft store in all of the example photos.  These have an ID of 5 (perhaps 5.2)  the AR is 5.2 ÷ 1.628 = 3.2 (3.19) This is a good AR for this particular Chainmaille weave. The correct or optimal AR is somewhere between 2.76 and 3.1

A good tight Jens Pind weave will be supple enough to move fluidly, making it ideal for bracelets, necklaces, and other ornaments and items.  Another word about Aspect Ratio, if the AR of any weave is too tight the chain will be stiff and unsuitable for much, including armor, decorative or other wise.  Placing the rings properly is crucial if the chain is to be flexible enough for wear or use.


Single color Jens Pind weave.  The chain can look different depending on whether you use multiple or single colors of jump rings.   I find the single color to be most attractive, but more difficult to weave without the color variation as a visual guide for the ring placement.

These are large chunky chains to show detail.  I dislike the rings I purchased, they are poorly cut, some have large burrs or Gargoyle heads and were unacceptable to use, some effort went into sorting and trying to clean them up before the project began.   Unfortunately I think another material or another supplier is in order.

Now that we have seen the different looks you can achieve lets take a quick look at how to make this pattern.  If you are just learning to weave (knit) maille, may I suggest learning the Half and / or Full Persian weaves before attempting the Jens Pind, it will make more sense if you are familiar with those patterns.

I have tried to be clear, concise and brief in my tutorial, I expect the pictures to be of more help than the written instruction.   I will be using Green, Blue and Purple jump rings as in the photo above for easy ring identification and to show the step by step placement of each ring as it is linked into place.


Twist Tie 
Lot and Lots of jump rings in the correct AR
Two Pairs of pliers (preferably Flat Nosed) 
Direction: "Up" = away from you, Down = towards you


1.  Close one ring (Green) and connect a twist tie to mark the beginning of the chain.


2.  Put one jump ring (Blue) through the first one, close it, and lay it flat against the first one.  This will determine how the spiral will form.

3.  Add a third jump ring (Purple), by passing it through the eye created by the first two rings and lay it flat against the second ring.


There are now three rings, Green, Blue, Purple (or 1, 2, 3).  The purple ring is in the correct position.

4.  Add a fourth ring (*Green), this ring should align with the first ring (The one with the twist tie).  Slide the ring up through the eye in the previous two rings (blue and purple) making sure it lies behind the first Green ring.  Close the ring.  *The pattern repeat begins.  You can see the zig-zag stacking begin.


5.  Rotate the chain so the Blue jump ring arcs over the work.  

6. Add the next ring (Blue).  Slide the ring down and through the eye of Green and Purple rings and UNDERNEATH (in front of) the previous Blue jump ring.

Each color of the rings must lay in the same direction, as the chain grows it will be easier to see where to place the next ring.  Each color ring goes through the same eye as the previous one of the same color.

7.  Rotate the chain so the Purple Ring arcs over the work.  Add the next ring (purple).  Slide the ring up and through the eye of the Green and Blue rings and behind the previous purple ring.  

The pattern is beginning to form and you can see how the jump rings are placed in relationship to each other.  The Chain needs to be turned to make sure that the rings are lined up in the right position and placed opposite each other.

8.  Continue with steps 4 through 7 adding each color (Green, Blue, Purple) of jump ring in order until your length of chain is complete. 

There are now seven rings total in the chain, and the third Green, Blue, Purple sequence begins.


Finish with a clasp or link together with a jump ring.  Here is a short length sample of the chain we just made, supple enough to make a circle.

 Thank you for stopping by and having a look.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant day.

Other Sources: Maille - Jens Pind Linkage Ring Calculator
Table of AWG Wire Sizes